Tavira Day 9

Dawn in Tavira on Sept 27th, 2018

If you search on the Internet for information about the Moors of Tavira and its “legendary” castle, you will come across sites that claim that “local tradition” states that, on the night of St. John, which falls on June 23, the ghost of the daughter of one Aben-Fabila, supposedly the Moorish governor when the castle fell to Christian forces, makes a yearly appearance.

Because of the incestuous nature of the free Internet, much of the language and phrasing of this material is almost identical across the various sites. If you go to the Portuguese language ones, you will have to deal with the awkward language constructs that are produced by Google translate, which often make no sense.

The story, or “legend” if you will, goes something like this.

Fabila, which to my ears sounds like more a singing Italian gigolo rather than an Arab governor, was said to have eluded the Christian soldiers via some unspecified “magic arts” that allowed him to vanish before the Christians slit his throat.

But before doing so, he apparently put a spell of some sort on this daughter – who in some versions of the legend was the love interest of a young knight, one “D. Ramiro” — rendering her, too, invisible, but, unlike Dad, remaining stuck in the castle.

Fabilia is said to have intended to return to reconquer the city and rescue this nameless daughter, but never succeeded in coming back to the town he once ruled..

I searched for a more academic and rigorous interpretation of the early history of Tavira and found this

Click to access TMECLOA_HelenaBlanc.pdf

This document appears to offer much valuable material, but unfortunately is mostly in Portuguese.

It is clear that I will have to go the Tavira library and the Islamic Museum to search for more serious material. But if it is also mostly in Portuguese, it will be difficult to get beyond this touristy interpretation, until I’m able to get hold of some credible academic treatises on the subject in English.

Ines (see previous post) has emailed me a .pdf document that contains more detail that you can find on the Internet in English.  It’s useful — though it seems to be mostly Google translate stuff off this Wikipedia material in Portuguese — as a starting point in that it names actual Almoradvid (in Arabic, المرابطون‎) bigwigs who went to town here in the 12th Century  — between 546 and 563 AH — before Tavira fell to the Christian knights.

I may be able to piece together more comprehensive picture of that era begining with the following name Abu Iacube Ibú Abde Almumine, but this is going to require serious historical research through the libraries that I have access to back in the States.

Meanwhile, today was beach bum day.

So off I went on the ferry (2 euros, round trip) that take you to the barrier island off Tavira, and tried to picture the pirates and brigands that used to ply these dangerous waters 9 centuries ago.

Though not the Mediterranean, the sea I love the most, where I spent most my childhood, it is pleasant enough when there aren’t many 300 pound lobster skinned Infestors ensconced in their beach chairs on the sand, but don’t let anyone tell you the water is warm this time of year or expect sand that is white like sugar under your feet and above all, if you come here, do watch out for the currents.  I have  gone diving around the word: the rip tide here looks fierce, and not something I would trifle with, given these extraordinary tidal currents and the lack of lifeguards on duty.


That evening, we went for a stroll.  The view of the mountains over the river was rather pleasing.

mountains over river

I wanted to try the wild boar at Casa Simão. So we went there, and I had that dish for the first time in my life; it was quite tasty, but I kept picturing those tusks.

boar stew

tile in restaurant

On the way home, we stopped to admire the full moon.  It does not look it in the picture, but the color of the moon is what they call a harvest moon back in the States  — a kind of wheat color… and very big and beautiful.

moon between cypress trees

So that’s the kind of day I had in Tavira, Portugal, today.

What kind of day did you have in Trumplandia?

Studiously trying to ignore or busy listening to allegations of rape, again, against a Supreme Court Justice nominee?  Guess sexual assault is not okay, apparently, but only if you’re a Bork or black.

And this pissant is going to the deciding swing vote on Roe vs Wade?  Meanwhile all the brainless Republican women on FB are telling each other right now to pray that the vote for this piece of work goes through tomorrow.

I so look forward to returning to cesspool America in 2 1/2 weeks.

leaving america